Recently, long time FCC member, Keith Russell joined with Karen Bellacosa, a member of the Environmental Justice team to craft a letter directed to our congregation – expressing their concern for our children and youth who will bear the brunt of ecological devastation. In particular, they are challenging each of us to show our love, not through well-meaning words, but through pledging to vote. An excerpt from their compelling letter is provided in the link below. Their words mirror the urgency and fear being raised by youth in the United States and across our planet.
Creation Care Voter Pledge
Although nearly 40 plus members who’ve already signed the Creation Care Voter Pledge is a good start, we can only think about the rest of our 424 members here at FCC. Our surprise/concern is that so few people have made a commitment to sign the pledge. As FCC professes to not only love creation but our children and youth, why the reluctance given that they’ll be the ones shouldering this crisis?
A brief background to why more of us should be making a simple commitment: According to the Environmental Voter Project, though there were 10.1 million environmentalists registered to vote in the 2016 election, they did NOT vote. However, studies show that if folks vote even once, they are 47% more likely to vote in the next election.
It is clear from images we have all seen of the horrific scenes from Australia Wildfires from 2019-2020 and now the wildfires blazing in California, Oregon and Washington, that the impact of climate change is only increasing the severity of these events. It’s pretty hard to deny the realities, but if it doesn’t directly impact a person it’s easy to let someone else do the ‘heavy lifting’.
Climatologists tell us that these fires are just the ‘canary in the coal mine.’ As we are the last group of people who can make a difference, if WE ignore it there will be no future for our children’s children. And, while we may not be feeling the impact here in Winchester as acutely as other places on the planet, we need to take action as members of the human race to protect our global home.
Desmond Tutu has said, “Twenty-five years ago, people could be excused for not knowing much or doing much about climate change. Today we have no excuse.”
So please, take a minute to think not just about your children’s or grandchildren’s futures, but the future of all children everywhere on this planet. Those in the poorest countries will be the most severely impacted; but even children in this wealthy country belong to the most vulnerable populations. They have no easy access to clean water or air and for many, their lives have already been impacted by hurricanes, flooding or fires in the past few years. Unless we all work together globally, making personal sacrifices for the sake of the larger group, we will not find solutions to this climate catastrophe.
Pledge to vote today and ask friends and family about voting too, so together we can start to be the people who make the difference by taking action to address climate change.
The link to pledge and joining with those who make a difference is just below:
Karen Bellacosa and Keith Russell